Are You Afraid to Fall Down?

Are You Afraid to Fall Down?

"Fear not, for I am with you,. . . for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you."—Isa. 41.10

Perhaps you're one of those learning to ice skate this winter—or ski.

What's the most difficult part of learning to skate or ski? It isn't getting the right position for your ankles, or putting your knees thus and so, or tightening the straps. Nor is the actual physical pain very great when you take a tumble.

The hardest part of learning these sports for most boys and girls is this—overcoming the fear of falling. And what's so bad about falling, especially at your age?

You know perfectly well that you've fallen a hundred times without being more than slightly bruised. You can take tumbles all day long without winding up in the hospital or doctor's office.

It isn't the bumps or bruises or aching shins we dread the most, is it? No, what we fear more than the physical pain is being laughed at. This hurts most of all.

And who laughs loudest when beginners take a tumble? Is it the best skaters? No, quite often it's those who can't skate well themselves.

How silly that other people's laughter should keep us from doing what we want to do and what we really should do. But it happens all the time. And to grownups as well as children.

Davy Crockett said, "Be sure you are right, then go ahead."

If in your heart you want to achieve something badly and that something is right and proper for you, expect a few laughs from the sidelines. For that's where they usually come from. From the grandstands where others sit and watch but don't have the courage to try themselves.

History is full of examples of great men being laughed at. Dr. Charles Kettering was told he couldn't build a self-starter for the automobile. It would have to be as big as the car motor, they said. Many years ago automobiles were cranked by hand—that is, you got out in front of your car and turned the motor over by hand. That was about the time Charles Kettering did the "impossible" and invented the automatic electric starter. Kettering wasn't afraid to fail—to fall short of his aim. Thus he succeeded by his very daring.

The world has always been populated with the scorners, the laughers who poke fun at the achievers, the unskilled who take out their own failures by pointing fingers at those who try.

I wish I could guarantee your being a good skater and skier without falling. A few very good athletes can do this. Most of us have to fall and get up, fall and get up, and repeat this routine until we've trained our muscles properly.

All your life you'll discover that it isn't the falling that hurts but the fear of being thought ridiculous. As you grow older, you will have far more difficult challenges than learning to skate.

If you can conquer now your fear of being laughed at, you can meet these challenges twice as easily than if you listen for sideline snickers. Pray to God. Ask him to give you courage. In the Bible we read:

Fear not, for I am with you,
I will strengthen you, I will help you.

With God helping you, the falls, tumbles, and even people's laughter can be taken without really hurting.

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